Todays post is the result of one or two conversations on the blog yesterday, it got me thinking hmmm, what is the real cost of buying youth players? I guess they’ll be a few telling me my figures and assumptions are wrong, so I have tried to put in the published figures, those that I read on Arsenal.com or like minded media.
Some of the figures are assumptions, like early salaries, but image rights I have no idea about so I didn’t put them in, but go with it, it’s quite surprising!
Okay, we bought Theo for £8mil (eventually) I suspect he was on £25k a week in those days, so 3 years on that and 2 years on £60k a week is what? A cool £18mil or thereabouts.
So we’ve so far paid £18mil for a 21 year old that’s not a guaranteed starter and has just began to show why we bought him. That’s £18million folks and that doesn’t include his image rights or add ons. So another 2 years at a paltry £60k a week will mean Theo, by the time he gets to Cesc’s age would have cost us at least £24.24million.
Now take young Jack, been with us since he was 9, that’s 9 years of training, kits, education and so on, he’s probably been on £20k a week for the last two years so if we said our investment in him is £5mil to date, and that’s not unreasonable. Ok, he just signed a 5 year contract worth £13mil, within 2 years that would have doubled to keep him, so by the time he’s Cesc’s age, he would have cost us £25.8mil and that doesn’t include image rights or bonuses.
So the two players I’ve illustrated have or would have set us back somewhere in the region of £50 million, for two 23 year olds, imagine Wenger spending that now?
Don’t misunderstand me, I think they are both top, top players and I love them, but…
Now, if you add Denilson, Vela, Song and all the other so called freebies brought in under the cloak of project youth, you’ll see where I’m going with this. We put players in the team for years before they are good enough and it costs us, Wednesday night was an example with Eastmond, then if they get good they want out as was the case with Anelka, Flamini and of course last summer with Cesc, and we are told that to buy ready mades like Van der Vaart (as an example) would end up ruining Arsenal football club, well how? Because in my book we’ve been spending the same for years in another way anyway!
The sort of howler Clichy made this week is happening more often than not these days, I don’t remember Winterburn, Sansom or Cole doing it that often. Gibbs is always injured, maybe we need to look outside, it’s not a crime boss.
At least a ready to go would be ready to go, like Chamakh, Squillaci, Vermaelen and Koscielny.
So to sum up, this isn’t a rant, it’s a question, the boss has many admirers of project youth out there, but is it cost effective? Or is the cost the same?
When Arsene goes into the market, he is extremely good at it, Arshavin, Pires, Henry and Gilberto are recent examples, the cost of those players against the cost of youth development are negligible, and before you say but look at their salaries, by the time our kids get to that age, the salaries are no different.
The advantage of buying ready mades is just that, we don’t have to wait.
So that’s it, tell me I’m wrong, but the figures aren’t far off, the myth of project youth laid bare.
As I said, when Arsene buys older players, he rarely goes wrong, I think we need a DM and a winger in January, especially if Theo moves inside, as far as Robin is concerned, if he goes with Holland, he is a disgrace and we should sell him, great player and I love him, but this is taking the piss.
Have a great day grovers, something to think about today!
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